The deciduous fruit orchards are among the main crops in northern Israel. Therefore, research on deciduous crops is the leading branch at Northern R&D. It includes many crops such as apples, pears, stone fruit (apricots, peaches, nectarines, plums, cherries), kiwi, pomegranates, almonds and persimmons.
The main research topics for deciduous orchards:
1. Acclimatizing new varieties and rootstocks imported from abroad for commercial production. This is a long-term, multi-year and multi-stage process that requires particular specialization.
2. Tree physiology and management for yield-bearing and fruit quality – pruning and shaping, pollination, thinning, irrigation, fertilization, net covering, replanting etc.
3. Plant protection – the main emphasis is on minimizing use of pesticides in orchards, and adopting the integrated approach for treating a wide range of pests and diseases in different crops.
Research on deciduous tree crops at Northern R&D employs 7 researchers who hold PhDs, supported by technicians and research students from different plant fields.
The main research is conducted at experimental farms in the north – Matityahu Farm in Merom HaGalil, Hula Valley Orchards Experimental Farm, Fichman Farm in the northern Golan and Avnei Eitan Farm in the southern Golan.
In addition – many research projects and experiments are conducted in the growers’ plots and orchards.
The researchers’ work is conducted in close cooperation with the Agricultural Extension Service crop instructors, with researchers specializing in orchards throughout Israel, and of course with the planter-farmer population.
Each year Northern R&D's deciduous tree department organizes professional conferences at which research progress in this branch is presented.